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Reviews Written by
Anonyfinn "flyingfinn1"

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Crysis 3 (PC DVD)
Crysis 3 (PC DVD)
Offered by Gameline GmbH.
Price: £7.89

4.0 out of 5 stars Now a better proposition than at launch!, 23 Mar. 2015
This review is from: Crysis 3 (PC DVD) (DVD-ROM)
I bought this as much as anything to test out my GTX 970 (plus the fact it was going cheap) and in this respect it didn't disappoint. Wonderful graphics with all the detail, shadow and lighting, all very smooth. FPS is my main genre, so it wasn't difficult to complete in normal mode -- I didn't find the check points too far apart. You can move through using stealth or blast, and it's fun to tag enemies and artillery and come up with a plan based on their numbers, capabilities or location.

In theory you modify your suit as you find upgrades along the way, but I don't think it made a major difference, just fine-tuning. The alien AI was fairly good, your human foes perhaps not so clever. The boss levels weren't too tricky either, but better that way than doing them 20 times, wondering what you are supposed to be doing. So it was all fairly straight forward and smooth. Like Battlefield4, there's an interesting contradiction that you are placed in epic scenarios but with non open-world, sometimes corridor-like play (reminded me of Halo!) that prevents the necessary suspension of disbelief and reminds you it's just a game.

That said, the graphics, the soundtrack and fairly seamless cinematic scenes were at times very immersive, and it felt like being in a 4D movie production -- certainly some great experiences to be had, and something I'd like to see more of. This goes a long way to making up for the sometimes limited trajectory you play on compared to open-world. And there was one final limitation: you normally expect about 40 hours out of a first campaign, this one is more like 20. All scenes are later unlocked so you can go back and play them on higher difficulties.

At launch this game wasn't graphically playable at its best for most of us, and it cost rather a lot for the hours you get (btw, still way better value than e.g. cinema -- imagine how much 20-40 hours then replays and multiplayer hours would cost there -- hooray for video games!). Now that we can unlock the best of the graphics and the price is well down, I'd say this game is an opportunity not to be missed, and rather more so than at launch.

Asus Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 Strix Graphics Card (4GB, GDDR5, PCI Express 3.0)
Asus Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 Strix Graphics Card (4GB, GDDR5, PCI Express 3.0)
Price: £284.97

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cool and quiet, good build, and 1342 MHz out of the box, 16 Mar. 2015
I'm happy with the performance of this card and glad I didn't splash out on a 980. 4K gaming is nascent rather than actual for most of us, and in future games will have more detail to render in ultra-high resolution which neither card will be able to do on ultra settings anyway. So the 980 seemed overkill considering the cost-benefit ratio, and it's not exactly future-proofing either. The money saved with the 970 today can go towards a next-gen card somewhere down the road. I would guess that you'd lose less money second hand too. The "0.5 GB" issue didn't put me off buying -- the card performs the same. Certainly if you want the best, the 980 is for you if you value it as highly as the retail price and don't have a wife rolling her eyes at your lifestyle choices...

I've tested the Asus Strix GTX 970 on Crysis 3, Battlefield 4, FarCry 4 and Assassin's Creed IV, and I'm getting really good frame rates and smooth play on ultra settings, and vsynch works fine where applicable. I've used GeForce Experience to optimize the settings. It seems FC4 was processed in 4k anyway and Battlefield in 2.5K, before being downscaled for my standard HD monitor. Maybe that explains why FC4 was using 3GB onboard RAM while Battlefield used 2GB (as did Crysis3 in standard HD). Other games in standard HD used 1.5 GB or less, all on very high and ultra settings. It seems to me that if you set standard HD processing for everything and overclocked the card, you'd be gaming away with new titles on high settings happily for a few years.

I haven't overclocked this card and don't yet see the need, and while it's sold as 1253 Mhz boost clock, the GPU Tweak software shows I've been getting 1342 MHz on Crysis 3, out of the box.

Temperature: depends on your system, and I have voltage-controlled Noctua fans front and rear plus a Noctua CPU tower cooler on PWM (horizontal orientation). When not gaming I get 41-43 C on this card, GPU fans off. When gaming heavily I get about 72 C, fans at about 50%. You could of course set the fans how you like to bring down temperatures at whatever load.

Noise: Since I've been after a near-silent PC this was important (in addition to the Noctua fans I use a semi-passive Corsair PSU whose fans rarely come on, and a Samsung 850 Pro SSD as main drive rather than one that's spinning all the while). When not under load the GPU fans are off and silent. At 45% it sounds like a very quiet twin-prop plane climbing lazily after take-off (somehow you can hear a stereo low rumble from both fans). I think the fans are quieter at 55% due to the higher pitch. Anyway, as we all know, when gaming it's headphones on or speakers on full, and in this case the fans aren't so loud as to be disturbing. Even so, for all the advertising I expected the fans to be quieter. As for coil whine, you can make the card do it by running the Windows Experience Index, and yes it sounds like the fast dentist's drill, but it's actually very quiet and I haven't really been able to discern it since, in gaming or when idle. When I turn the speakers off and put my head next to the case of my quiet PC, I can just about make it out. I get as much electrical noise from my mouse charger.

Extras: None to speak of! I don't care because I have 6+2 cables with my modular PSU already and didn't need an adapter. There's a disk with drivers and the GPU Tweak software, which you can get online regardless. The Strix 970 only requires 1 cable of the 8 variety anyway, so it tidied my tower a little. So, it was a slight disappointment that the foot-long, inch thick rectangular box inside the bigger box was more or less empty, despite gold letters reading "In Search of Incredible" -- in this respect, I'm still searching. A case badge would have been nice. Still, the card was well protected in the packaging.

So in summary, you have most of what the GTX 980 does here in practical terms at the moment, at a price which is so significantly lower to make it the preferred option as a top-end card for most gamers -- stocks and sales figures bear that out. And that's before you start overclocking. My experience of the Asus Strix GTX 970, with its metal chassis and back plate, is of a cool and quiet card of good build quality, which certainly delivers the goods and in fact performs better in terms of boost clock than claimed (MSI claims 1279 MHz on its GTX 970 Gaming edition, which my card exceeded out of the box). While the Strix doesn't have a flashy LED logo, I feel I've made the right decision over the MSI and Gigabyte, or at worst I haven't made a 'wrong' decision. I'm happy with this card in all respects, with the tiny niggle that a trinket of some sort didn't come with it -- but maybe Asus put all the money into the card!

GRDE™ Newest Design 5 Modes head lamp,1800Lumens CREE XML L2 LED Zoomable Adjustable Focus Headlamp ,Waterproof head torch ,For Outdoor Hiking, Riding, Camping and Other Activities(1*LED Headlight+2* 18650 Battery+1*USB Cable+1*Adapter Charger+1*car charge)
GRDE™ Newest Design 5 Modes head lamp,1800Lumens CREE XML L2 LED Zoomable Adjustable Focus Headlamp ,Waterproof head torch ,For Outdoor Hiking, Riding, Camping and Other Activities(1*LED Headlight+2* 18650 Battery+1*USB Cable+1*Adapter Charger+1*car charge)
Offered by Highway Techbuy
Price: £35.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Good value buy, does the job, a tad unrefined, 22 Feb. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I'll start with the minor niggles. Compared to my old Cree T6, this isn't actually quite as bright -- the LED might be, but if it is I suspect the bulbous plastic (not glass) focusing lens cuts some of the light. And at the narrowest focus the beam is a square shape, like the LED. Also, there were some dirty, unfocused parts in the light beam -- I noticed that there were bits of plastic stuck behind the lens, but it was easy to take it out and clean it. Actually some of the metal parts look like there's some sort of rock dust stuck to them -- I suspect they were dropped on a concrete floor during assembly. There could be some padding on the forehead piece, it's just the plastic -- I wear a hat in the cold, but come summer I think I'll need a hanky if it ever gets so dark when running that I need it. Otherwise it's a nice shape. There are no instructions, but it is self-explanatory -- just remember to take the plastic off the batteries before charging. There is a slight rattle from the focusing cylinder as you bounce while running.

The rest is all positive. It's certainly bright enough even though I've seen slightly brighter -- the four modes being max, reduced, flicker and finally it flashes out SOS, which I thought was a nice touch. The focusing is really good, and when you widen the beam it's pleasing to remember that you also actually lengthen it too, and combined with a fairly good tilt adjustment you really can get exactly the beam you want -- actually it's the focusing together with the price (which may vary) that makes this one a winner for me. So, it seems to me to be a good product which lacks refinement in just a couple of areas. Will update later on long-term reliability.

Luggage Zone Hard Shell Suitcase, Upright, Number Lock, 53/30/70 cm, Large, 3 Year Warranty
Luggage Zone Hard Shell Suitcase, Upright, Number Lock, 53/30/70 cm, Large, 3 Year Warranty
Price: £255.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Ticks all the right boxes..., 22 Jan. 2015
Bought this on a deal, and while the supposed RRP looks well over the top, it's actually a very good case. Unlike another I had to return, the lock is very easy to use and looks robust enough (it's the combination lock type, which locks the zippers in place so your case can't be opened without your knowledge -- zipped luggage is easy enough to break into, but this stops the case from being opened wide and provides 'tamper-evidence' because the case can't be re-zipped when the zip-pulls are fixed in place).

The wheels are good, and all the handles are good. There's a zippable fabric divide between the two halves inside. It's light for its size and reasonably rigid, though there is of course some flex when you push down on the centre. The case has also survived a flight. It shows the scuffs, but that's expected.

Overall, there's nothing to disappoint in terms of functionality, and if bought on a deal it's great value. Anything under 80 is great, as John Lewis ask 120 and up for something similar in this size category.

Far Cry 4 - Limited Edition (PC DVD)
Far Cry 4 - Limited Edition (PC DVD)
Price: £20.00

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Changed and not changed -- sadly in the wrong ways, 1 Dec. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
If you haven't played FarCry3, you will probably enjoy this. Possibly you would if you have. I've had no problems with glitches at all on a 64 bit Win 7 machine with reasonable but not the highest specs -- I'm at that stage that I'm waiting for a couple of components to come down in price, maybe a GTX 980, and I'm glad I didn't spend out especially for FC4. No problems with Ubisoft's online part of the deal either (i.e. no "can't connect to server" etc).

My problem, and I have a few online gaming friends across the world who feel the same, is that FC4 has got it the wrong way round when it comes to change. The story mode is the same old FC3 scenario of control towers, missions, weapon unlocks, skinning and crafting etc. Yes, more elaborate (e.g. more stealth mandatory in places) and in slightly different terrain, but essentially the same. Oh, you can call in friends, but where's the worldwide online glory in little rooms? So, for me, story mode is like the same thing over again, a bit more elaborate, and with rather less empathetic characters I might add.

As for multiplayer, this has been dramatically changed when in FC3 it was one of the best things, as many reviewers have testified. Much of the camaraderie and chances of glory have gone, and to Ubisoft I say you can make it as pretty and multifarious as you like, but when the real-life narrative impetus created by player interaction rather than programming is taken out, the heart and soul have likewise been ripped out of it.

In both modes it feels more like going though the motions compared to this game's predecessor. It's only an opinion, but I thought I'd share it in case it means something to an FC3 veteran, who might not be missing out as much as anticipated.

So that's it for me: a fairly good game in its own right, but less interesting to this seasoned FC3 player because it is more of the same on story mode, and less than it was in a crucial way in multiplayer. I'll be back if I change my mind in another 40-80 hours... I really am hoping to see redemption not so much for Hurk but for FarCry4 and Ubisoft.


I'm back! To give credit to Ubisoft, they really tried hard to give you value hours here (again!). They incorporated all sorts of mini tasks and games into a very large, open world map. The multiplayer is more complex. But it's not working for me. FC3 is somehow better looking, more immersive and soulful and had a better, more accessible and straightforward multiplayer, which sadly is now too overrun by hackers using cheats to bother with (couldn't they do a code check and chuck you out?). I just got a marketing email saying 'don't give up on Kyrat', and I don't see my friends online in Uplay. I think people just haven't been gripped by it in the long-term as with FC3.

The campaign, in my view, actually has too many side lines to it that aren't strictly mission or upgrade related, and this interrupts the narrative imperative. The story concept is based on the literary notion that ambiguity over the moral right leaves the question forever open and therefore of eternal interest, but sadly this means you don't give a hoot who you support. In fact, Pagan Min is probably my favourite character and I have no interest in killing him. He was a stable character, had conviction, you see? And to be positive, the same can be said for the fortress owners you dispose of along the way, especially Paul, who is a well and fully developed character.

The multiplayer is just too complex again, and when you swap sides it likewise throws you out of character and means you lose that narrative imperative, in addition to unnecessary faffing about. And with so many options, it's more about who makes the right selections than who is skilful and knowledgeable.

If you haven't played FarCry3, this is in fact a 4 star game and offers you way more hours than e.g. Crysis 3 or Battlefield4, and is much more open world than these comparative corridors. I wish I could love it, but I just can't because of the wonderful benchmark set by FarCry 3. And I'm really sorry for both myself and Ubisoft who have obviously tried very hard to make a great game that provides real value. I don't suppose Ubi would like to contact me for a bit of input concept-writing the next one? Please, I'm desperate to make this right!

BLACK+DECKER EPC18CA 18V NiCd Cordless Drill Driver
BLACK+DECKER EPC18CA 18V NiCd Cordless Drill Driver
Price: £35.95

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Big minus with NiCad batteries, 24 Nov. 2014
I have owned a few of the NiCad battery drills from B&D, and I haven't had a problem with their performance -- bar one thing. Most people looking at this, especially on a deal day as they usually are (I wonder why?), will be expecting to leave these in the cupboard for use as situations arise. The NiCad batteries discharge quite quickly when not in use, and after a while won't take a charge at all, rendering the drill-driver useless.. Maybe that's why you don't get a charge indicator light -- leaving you out of power and completely in the dark about it. And a replacement battery can cost as much as the drill in the first place.

I recommend paying slightly more for a device with Lithium batteries, because you can get years of use out of them. These ones here can literally be useless in six months, making this a very poor bargain indeed. If you have a one-off job like a patio deck, look at the 14.4 volt model with two batteries -- you can work with fewer breaks that way, as a full charge can take quite a few hours. I have a lot of experience here, so I thought I'd give a 'heads up' to take into consideration. Don't expect to have this in the cupboard for two years -- the batteries will have discharged long ago, probably won't even take a charge, and the whole thing will only be good for recycling.

Corsair CP-9020055-UK RM Series RM750 80 Plus Gold 750W ATX/EPS Fully Modular Power Supply Unit
Corsair CP-9020055-UK RM Series RM750 80 Plus Gold 750W ATX/EPS Fully Modular Power Supply Unit
Price: £92.98

5.0 out of 5 stars Can't fault it -- so I won't!, 23 Nov. 2014
Really pleased with this fully modular unit, as it makes chopping and changing easy and is well worth keeping as you upgrade. I didn't have any trouble plugging the cables, none were loose or fell out as has been reported by some, and none were too stiff -- if there was a slight exception, it was the 24-pin, which went in with a bit of left then right, left then right, as I eased it down. The cables themselves are a bit stiff, but I didn't mind, though longer cable ties might have been handy inplaces to manage them -- but that's too insignificant to worry about. Had everything I needed including molex adapters for an extra case fan -- and of course to light up the Asus logo on the front of my tower :)

Most of the time the fan is idle, so it's silent and the only slight electrical whine I get is clearly from the CPU. The only sound I get now (when not gaming) is the air rush from my Noctua case fans. Will I ever get a 'silent PC' ? Still working on it, but the RM750 seems a good start among its other benefits. Oh, it looks rather neat and I liked the grippy fitting screws that come with it -- wouldn't want it to shake lose onto the mobo or gpu!

I should add that the cables that come with it include 2 x spilttable (6+2 = 6 or 8 pin) PCI, so you have 2 x 6, 1 x 6 + 1 x 8, or 2 x 8 options for your GPU, out of the box.

Asus DSL-N55U - 300Mbps Dual Band Wireless N Router ADSL 2/2+ Modem Router, 802.11n, Gigabit Lan, Gigabit LAN, 2x USB, Print FTP UPnP Server, HD Streaming, 3 Year Warranty
Asus DSL-N55U - 300Mbps Dual Band Wireless N Router ADSL 2/2+ Modem Router, 802.11n, Gigabit Lan, Gigabit LAN, 2x USB, Print FTP UPnP Server, HD Streaming, 3 Year Warranty
Price: £76.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy set up and GUI, good signal and traffic handling, handy parental controls, 21 Sept. 2014
I've paired this with the Asus PCE-A68 network card on my PC, which is the only machine I have using the 5 GHz band in the house at present. 300 + 300 Mbps is quite enough, because it's more than comes into the house -- consider that before making a more expensive dual band purchase.

On the 5 GHz band I get 450 Mbps to my PC when alone -- this seems to be 300 on 5 GHz plus a share of the 2.4 GHz band. When others are in the house on laptops, other PCs, phones etc., it's rare I get less than 360 Mbps, again bearing in mind that this is the speed between the router and PC, which is not what is actually possible online for me, because it's way faster than the broadband service I currently have.

Installation was easy enough, the usual really -- connect by cable and the right settings are retrieved automatically. With 30 ft and two insulated partition walls between the PC and router, I get a signal strength of 4/5 on 5 GHz and 5/5 on 2.4 GHz, which goes to show that the reputed comparative loss of range on 5 GHz is partially true, though both signal strengths are very good in my case.

I like the online control panel, GUI or however you prefer to call it. Updating the firmware was easy -- you can do it the long way and download a file to your PC and upload it, or if you look in the online GUI there's actually a button, and it does it all for you. Very easy! All settings kept as well, automatically.

PARENTAL CONTROLS! I like this, hence the block capitals. In the online GUI, there's a list of all devices that have connected to this modem router, and you can actually set times when they can or cannot have internet access. Accordingly, the kids' phones and laptops etc. are now blocked from 10 pm to 7 am, so no more what's app messages or dodgy web surfing going on in the middle of the night! Times can be set in hourly blocks too, so if it's lunch or homework, there's always the option... One small thing for this on-off service to work, is that the system time may need adjusting to the time in your country in the GUI, and daylight savings time doesn't seem to be automatically adjusted (i.e. you need to set the correct time zone and/or set GMT +1, or not as the case may be.). I haven't done it, but it seems you can also block certain websites.

So, I've had no trouble setting up and connecting, the speed is as promised, the signal strength with the Asus PCE-68 card is good on both bands, and the online user interface is pretty good. If you hunt around in the GUI and online, there's support with manuals and videos. Other functions I haven't yet tried are media server by USB, 3/4g dongle and FTP server, so still some unexplored potential for me. I did actually achieve a fractional increase of around 5% and 10% download and upload respectively over my last basic router on my PC, and it seems good at distributing the internet connection to devices as required -- the default setting is that it prioritizes traffic like media streaming and online gaming.

So, all good from me. As the most lay of lay person's, while the online GUI is fairly easy to use, I do feel that all of these systems could be a tad more self-explanatory, or assume less knowledge on behalf of the average consumer. I guess that's why I can't quite go to the full five stars -- different people have different criteria, and this would be mine. I've seen others fault a lack of features, but in my case I obviously don't know what I'm missing, or what else I could possibly want and especially at this price. The N55U offers way better value than you used to get!

S3+ Foot Pod Unisex black Size:one size
S3+ Foot Pod Unisex black Size:one size
Price: £69.50

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Multifunctional -- for many, distance plus cadence together do more than gps alone, 12 Sept. 2014
This review is from: S3+ Foot Pod Unisex (Sports)
I bought this as part of a running kit with the RCX3 watch. It's easy to fit, I don't find it too large or heavy, and the battery really lasts (months!). I calibrated it on three laps of a 400 metre track -- the best way to ensure accuracy because you know the exact distance run when calibrating. Running with Runtastic on my phone, I find that the distance run as estimated by the foot pod is very close to what my phone gps gives me. I don't need to know where I've been on a map, as speed, distance and changes in finishing time on the same terrain/route are all I need to know -- so the footpod does pretty much what I'd want from a more expensive gps unit (and more reliably, with longer lasting batteries by all accounts!). On top of that, it also tells your stride cadence and length as well as your pace (you see these on graphs or as data after uploading online, e.g. pace you see on a chart across the whole run, stride length as a single figure). Cheaper bought as part of a running set with the RCX3, but even as an upgrade, for runners it may well offer much better value than the gps unit and be rather less bother.

Asus PCE-AC68 Dual Band Wireless PCI Express Network Interface Card
Asus PCE-AC68 Dual Band Wireless PCI Express Network Interface Card
Offered by Nord PC GmbH & Co. KG
Price: £74.15

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very robust and no trouble at all, 9 Sept. 2014
This seems faultless to me. Driver and software installation was very fast (WIn 7 -- I finally uninstalled the 8 'upgrade'!), and the software is pretty easy to use when it comes to joining your wireless network; it also worked with settings to find and use my Nokia phone as a hub. It was easy to install physically and only takes up one PCI slot despite the large-looking heat sink. The antennas are pretty meaty, and I get good and reliable signal strength on 2.4 ghz. Very robust all round. I can't vouch for the speed, as this is a bit of overkill for my current wifi, soon to be upgraded -- so in part this was a future-proofing exercise prior to getting a dual band router; I get a strong solution that I don't need to buy and install twice.


Now using with a dual band Asus N55U modem router -- 300 + 300 Mbps is plenty enough, as it's way more than comes into the house. The software than comes with the network card shows channels 10 and 36 as 2.4 and 5 GHz bands respectively (may vary for you). There are several wifi users in the house -- this PC with the AC68 network card and meaty antennas, another PC streaming TV, a laptop or two plus phones. The software indicates a speed between the router and this PC as the only 5 GHz band user of between 360 and 450 Mbps (not that this much comes into the house, so it's only indicative of possibilities). Since this is a 300 + 300 router, I'm guessing that I get 300 on 5 GHz to myself, plus a share of the 2.4 GHz used by everyone else (and it is a guess, as the instructions don't tell much, nor the software itself). On the 2.4GHz band only, I get 144 Mbps amid other wifi users, and 300 when alone.

I'm about 30 ft and two plaster board walls filled with glass wool insulation away from the modem router: I get a signal strength of 5/5 on the 2.4 GHz band and 4/5 on 5 GHz, so there is some truth in the reputation that signal strength is lower with 5 GHz, though with this set up the signal strength for both bands is evidently very good.

As I said, the speeds quoted are just the speeds between the modem-router and this network card, which are way faster than the broadband coming into the house. However, using online speed tests, I have seen a fractional increase, perhaps 5% download and 10% upload, in the speeds I'm reaching, but do bear in mind that this is at least as much down to a more sophisticated router than I had before, though it takes two to tango and couldn't be done without this network card.

As usual, the software/GUI could be more self explanatory, or indeed come with a better guide (or indeed a guide!). But it's rather good once you figure it out.

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